January 29, 2015

Imbolc Thoughts by Cressida Pryor

The Goddess has no body on earth but ours.
The Goddess has no hands on earth but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which she
Streams compassion to the world.
Ours are the hands with which she
Is to bless all beings.
May we have the grace to know this mystery,
The courage to give ourselves to it entirely,
And the strength to enact its truth in the world.

These words inspired by Teresa of Avila very simply describe my personal theology. My experience of the Divine is that she, he, it is in everything and everything is in he, she, it. That means both the snow drop and the tree creeper; the hope and the despair.

I do not require or expect any member to share my belief; I respect your right to whatever is your truth. Indeed I am proud that the FOI does not require any tenet of belief of its members except to acknowledge their need to, in Olivia’s words, experience a closer communion with feminine divinity and the agreement to abide by the manifesto’s values.

The FOI was founded by visionaries who recognised that one of its most important tasks was to heal and return the world to wholeness through sacred being and sacred doing. The fellowship and sacred meeting within the FOI’s Festivals and liturgy fuel hope and energise the heart in the face of challenges inherent in working for transformation in these chaotic and confusing times.

Indeed peace and passion walk hand in hand; joy and heartbreak are just a whisper apart. The FOI has much work to do. I hope we do not get distracted by internal strife so that we lose sight of what we are here to do; which is to serve the Goddess. We also need to practice the path of compassion that we believe in; to foster reconciliation where there is a true ‘dropping of the knife’. Please join in the silent time of prayer and contemplation on Sundays at five pm for peace and reconciliation in the world and our own community.

The FOI is its members and priesthood. One well of inspiration and strength comes from the Temple and sacred waters deep in the Foundation Centre in Clonegal, Eire; tended by members of the Circle of Brigid who also hold its regular festivals. The fellowship needs to be deeply embedded in the real world; nurtured, informed and inspired by spirit and acting with truth, beauty and kindness.

At Imbolc snow drops hold a pale resilient presence
in the freezing winds;
a tree creeper scurries up a tree trunk
seeking grubs in hope to survive the snow.

We stand by Brigid’s forge, poised to transform;
feeding the flame to bring bright
the new growth ready for spring.